WASHINGTON (AP) - An Associated Press survey of 32 leading economists suggests steady hiring will get strong enough to push the unemployment rate below 8 percent by Election Day.
Yet the same economists think it will be at least three more years before unemployment falls below 6 percent, which would be a sign of a healthy economy. The economists predict the pace of hiring the rest of 2012 won't be as brisk as it was early this year.
Despite other pressures like higher gas prices, those surveyed think the economy has entered a "virtuous cycle" in which hiring boosts consumer spending, which fuels more hiring and spending.
The survey results come before tomorrow's April jobs report.